Jennifer Mulholland, BSN, RN, OCN, GU
Implementing navigation tactics significantly improved this patient’s quality of life.
—Jennifer Mulholland, BSN, RN, OCN, GU
A CATCH is a navigation success story where a navigation tactic improved a patient’s situation. The CATCH Initiative, short for Catching & Addressing Threats to Care & Health, tracks and acknowledges positive outcomes of navigation tactics.
The CATCH of the Month
Background: Patient delayed diagnostic workup and follow-up due to lack of faith in healthcare system, concern of missing work, and inadequate transportation.
The Incident: Patient suspected of having metastatic prostate cancer presented to the navigator with severe back pain and new-onset numbness/tingling to bilateral upper and lower extremities. Jennifer noted that patient had multiple canceled appointments, including his biopsy and initial oncology consult. She assessed barriers to care and discovered the patient delayed care due to work and transportation concerns. She reported symptoms to both urology and medical oncology teams, and the patient was advised to go to the emergency department. The patient refused to go to the emergency department, claiming it would be a “waste” of his time.
The CATCH (Intervention): Jennifer collaborated with urology/medical oncology teams to obtain orders for stat imaging to rule out a medical emergency. She placed an order for a social work referral to assist with transportation. Further, she provided education on the Family Medical Leave Act and offered assistance to protect the patient’s job. Working with a sense of urgency, Jennifer scheduled the patient’s imaging immediately.
Outcome: As a result of the navigator’s clinical knowledge, communication skills, and efficient coordination of care, the patient was able to receive expedited care, access to transportation, pain relief for his neuropathy, and diagnostic follow-up. The patient acknowledged the navigator and care team’s efforts and stated his faith in healthcare had been restored.
The Importance of the CATCH
One of the hallmarks of oncology navigation is to address barriers and facilitate a multidisciplinary approach to care. This CATCH demonstrates the significance and impact multidisciplinary coordination of care has on patient care outcomes and is an excellent example of PONT standard 5: Interdisciplinary and Interorganizational Collaboration, which states, “All navigators should promote collaboration and communication among the healthcare team members and participate in interprofessional teams to provide patient care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable.”1
- The Professional Oncology Navigation Task Force. Oncology navigation standards of professional practice. Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship. 2022;13(3):74-85.